Laying out grounds may be considered a liberal art, in some sort like poetry and painting. — Wordsworth
I try to get to Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, Maine, every year around this time for their annual plant sale. The sale offers native plants, plants from Fedco and two Fedco reps there to answer questions about them, and lots of other perennials, many of which you can see in CMBG’s gardens, plus some herbs and veggies.
I was particularly hoping for a ‘Cherries Jubilee” baptisia (see here with other baptisias):
… but there were none at the sale, only some ‘Screaming Yellow’ baptisias and the standard blue Baptisia australis. I was also looking for nut shrubs and perennial edibles and struck out there, too, though I did get some climbing spinach that looks very rugged. I also bought a Kirengeshoma palmata (yellow wax-bells), a favourite of mine for the shade garden — we had three when we lived in inland Maine 15 yrs ago; an Aruncus dioicus ‘Kneiffii’ (cutleaf goatsbeard); two Hakonechloa macra (Japanese forest grass) for shade; and two sweet cicely — I think, based on how the leaf looks, that they’re Myrrhis odorata and not the native Osmorhiza longistylis but the tag had only the common name.
Over three days, I spent about 10 hours at the Gardens, enjoying the kinetic sculpture exhibit, the blooms, the trees and foliage, the ponds, the paths, and the woodland trails, as well as savouring three lunches in the Cafe, where the food and service are excellent (but the process for getting seated is still confusing and inefficient).
A little photo tour, below:
Kinetic Sculptures by George Sherwood
Cafe, edibles, gift shop:
Some favourite plants:
Waterlilies and pond plantings:
The Giles Rhododendron Garden:
Trails and Pathways:
The Fairy House Village (now with stone!)
‘All gardening is landscape painting.’ — Alexander Pope
Always beautiful, and I remember 15 years ago when most of it was just a notion.
This photo was taken in 2005, when there was a kiosk, a few trails, and this bench by the river:
And this one in July 2007, when some of the garden had been designed and installed but the planting was minimal.
It’s amazing what people with a vision, passion, creativity, commitment, and a lot of money can do in a few short years.
“One of the functions of landscape is to correspond to, nurture, and provoke exploration of the landscape of the imagination. Space to walk is also space to think, and I think that’s one thing landscapes give us: places to think longer, more uninterrupted thoughts or thoughts to a rhythm other than the staccato of navigating the city.” ― Rebecca Solnit, Storming the Gates of Paradise: Landscapes for Politics